Buying tech gifts for kids is like teaching them to ride a bike. You need to teach them to use tech devices safely, but at a certain point you also must take your hands off and let them use them on their own since 92% of teens reported using the internet at least once a day in 2022.
Even though you can’t be there for every online interaction, we’ve put together a guide to the best tech gifts for kids, the tools you need to keep them safe while using them, and how to prepare your network for more connected devices!
What are age-appropriate tech gifts for kids?
The first thing to consider when buying tech gifts for kids is if they’re the right age to be using them. While each child’s surroundings and their response to tech devices will be different, the following age ranges are a good starting point to consider what tech gift to give a child.
Infants have no need for tech gifts since they won’t have the cognitive coordination to use them, even if they show interest in them. For this age range, consider tech gifts that help parents monitor their infants like baby monitors. Parents may have specific devices in mind that they’ve already reviewed, so communicate with them to make sure you find the right gift before buying.
Toddlers near preschool can play simple games on computers and tablets, but at this age they’re still mostly mimicking others or are only learning how to use basic tools like the mouse.
Games might be entertaining, but toddlers are still too young to use an internet connected device of their own. Just like for infants, the best tech gifts for this age range are those that will help the parents monitor their children such as a car-seat camera.
Elementary school children
Elementary age is when most kids first use tech devices seriously. In fact, in 2022 94% of public schools provided digital devices such as laptops or tablets to students and 72% of public schools gave them digital literacy training.
Each school’s approach to introducing students to internet connected devices will differ, but the bottom line is that computers and tablets will be a part of most educations. That’s why this is one of the best times to give kids tech devices like laptops or tablets. However, at this age there still needs to be safeguards against online content as well as screen time.
Don’t forget that excess screen time for children can lead to mental and physical health issues, so if your child receives a device like a tablet or laptop then consider these steps to keep their screen time in check:
- Don’t leave your TV on in the background. There’s a good chance it will draw your child’s attention even if you’re not actively watching it.
- Create device free zones to prevent unhealthy habits. For example, consider making bedrooms screen free zones since screen time can affect sleep and it’s harder to monitor the content a child views if they can use devices privately somewhere like their room.
- Turn off screens for meals. Even if you like to eat and watch something, consider turning off all screens when eating with your children to discourage mindless eating.
By the time a person becomes a teenager they’re likely well versed in the capabilities of phones, tablets, and computers. In fact, as teenagers gain more independence a phone may be necessary to stay in touch with their family.
This is also the time when you’ll likely consider giving them more independence to use devices on their own. Managing how much time they spend on those devices and what content they see is a major challenge, which is why the tools and tips in the next section are vital!
Internet parental controls and internet safety
Ensuring internet safety through internet parental controls is vital since it means protecting children from harmful content as well as your network from harmful exposures like malware.
Modern WiFi networks are equipped with the tools you need to help your kids and your network stay safe when they connect to the internet. Your WiFi network should include:
- A central app that shows who is on your network, what device they’re using, and the content they’re accessing. You can even set bandwidth limits like a data cap, time limits, or block a specific device entirely from connecting if you need to set aside time without internet.
- Content filters that make it easy to block ads and other content that you don’t want reaching devices on your network.
- An encrypted connection that blocks third parties from reading the messages that go between your browser and a server.
Fortunately, Quantum Fiber® 360 WiFi TM comes with each of those features and more!
Upgrade your internet speeds with Quantum Fiber
For example, a teenager can stream TV or movies in 4k from a streaming device in their room while on their own laptop. That’s significant data usage, but Quantum Fiber offers speeds up to 940 Mbps and even multi-gig speeds of up to 1, up to 3, and up to 8 Gbps. Plus, each of those plans has 99.9% reliability based on network uptime or availability, unlimited data, and 360 WiFi coverage included.
Speed is important for reliable internet connection, but Quantum Fiber also gives you the tools to help keep kids safe when they get online. Check availability for Quantum Fiber in your area today before you buy tech gifts for kids!
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